The bullet or the bird


One thing I really enjoy about writing with spirit is never knowing where they’re going to take me. It’s the complete antithesis of how I might otherwise work as a creative writer, thinking about plot and structure before I begin. I certainly had no idea where things were heading when I sat down with my guide Jy in March 2014, but he knew exactly what he wanted to say.

Life and its trajectory – Jy, 31 March 2014

Let us first consider the word trajectory. For it is a resonant word, yes? A large word. A grand word. And one I suspect carries many assumptions, interpretations that colour one’s thinking right from the start. You, humanity, must set these preconceptions apart when considering this subject in full.

But on the basis that, if I said ‘do not think of a green door’, you would be hard pressed to think of anything else, let us consider your prejudices.

What would most humans, most souls in incarnation in the present day (for you) think of when they heard the work ‘trajectory’? A gun, yes. Precisely. So let us first consider the word, the images evoked by the word, in the context of a gun.

Trajectory is the path taken by the missile propelled by the gun, the direction and angle or curvature taken by the bullet. And, as we know, the bullet leaves the gun at high speed, slowing only when it has travelled considerable distance or when it hits a solid mass.

If we were to consider the trajectory of life as being akin to that of a bullet – why, then we would be sorely mistaken. Bullets cannot, outside fantasy films, travel around corners or curves as they travel. They follow a predictable path, which can be estimated by science, re-created by analysis. The trajectory of life knows no such limits. Neither does it travel at a predictable velocity. Just because you took off at a gallop and you now feel yourself slowing, this does not mean that you are at the end of your journey or your inspiration. Pace, direction, awareness as you travel may all vary. And all are far less easy to predict than the path your bullet is likely to take.

What a good job that is! How tedious would it be to be me, observing life after life, it they all conformed to such strictures? How tedious would it be to be you, oh humanity, following such narrow paths, beset by those same strictures? How glad are you to be the bird not the bullet?

Let us consider trajectory for the bird. And I use the analogy consciously and, I hope, explicitly. Let us, more precisely, consider the trajectory of the migratory bird. Before that bird is even born, it is imprinted, it has absorbed the instincts, inherited the compulsions, which will dictate that, at certain times, it is compelled into certain behaviour. When the weather does this or that, when its fellow birds begin to travel in a certain direction, it will feel compelled to do likewise.

So does the soul decide, before each birth, what great paths it wishes to travel. What experiences will be its eyries, its ocean crossings, its nestings and its learnings. And the human soul enters this contract knowing that the compulsions of its family and social groups will also exert great influence – will, to some extent, act upon and determine its direction of travel; its trajectory.

But there are unknowns, uncalculables for the bird and for the soul incarnated. There are the storms – whether physical weather or emotional disturbances – that throw the bird, the soul, off its intended course. Some may prove only a delay, with much will power and determination brought to bear to overcome them and be heading once more in the right direction. Some may prove more insistent, more overwhelming. And the bird, or the man, finds itself washed up on an unexpected shore – battered, tired, but still exuberantly alive, needing to explore. Perhaps it is the object of much attention, as a foreigner in those parts.

Embraced, such experiences offer much learning and can even permanently alter the course of one’s life – as a bird or a man. But be cautious – do not become so distracted by the novelty of your surroundings that you find yourself netted, snared, caged and become the object of curiosity at the expense of your freedom.

You, whether bird or man, are born to be free. Free to make choices – and to do so you must remain free to exercise your own will. Do not subject yourself, therefore, to another’s power. Meet them head on. Make free decisions to stay or to go; to remain in the new, unexpected land or, having sheltered there a while and recovered your strength, to take flight and resume your original course. For you carry with you the experiences of that time. You are the wiser bird for them, albeit one back in the flock.

So, the storms may redirect you, but what else? The richness of your surroundings may also prove a distraction or offer learning. Your own strength may flow freely, accelerate or ebb. The landscape may offer challenges. Can you fly as far as fast at altitude? Do you need or desire to rest more when on such a heady path? If what is important is reaching the final destination, then is it not also wise to do so in good health and good spirits, so that you may fully enjoy it when you arrive? The bullet cannot choose the mountain flight path, the valley thermals, the risky but direct ocean pathway. You can, as a soul incarnated to human life.

And, of course, the ultimate effect on your trajectories are the people around you; the other souls with whom you exchange learning and experience. The relationships you form in a lifetime can move you forward towards your original destination, or have you dallying for years. Sometimes dalliance is beneficial – a mutual learning experience that enriches your life. But sometimes you allow yourselves to become stuck, trapped by your doubts and fears.

This is when quiet is necessary; quiet introspection and communion with your soul. Look inward and ask the part of you that knows you best, which has recorded all your hopes and dreams before you were ever born, which has absorbed every piece of learning in your lifetime. Ask this soul-deep well of wisdom: What am I doing here, right now? Is this where I should be? Is this what I should be? Who I should be with? Am I still on my ultimate trajectory or have I strayed too far? Have I taken one turn too many or allowed the solidness of someone else to block my path to an extent that is not beneficial to them or to me?

Your instincts are strong. Every one of you has that knowledge nestled deep inside of your human selves. Just as the bird knows where it should be heading and when, so does your soul know where your true path lies.

The beauty of human life is that there are so many different pathways one may take to that ultimate destination. No pathway is too long or too short, too steep, too high, too stony. As long as you are moving, growing, experiencing, learning. It is only when you stop, when you allow yourselves to become stuck in a rut, as you might say, that the warning bells should sound. Are you lingering out of choice, for some lovely, deep or fascinating experience? Are you free to leap skyward, to take off and fly free whenever you choose? Then no matter where you find yourself, you are probably still on the right trajectory. But if the answer is “I cannot leave because of this,” or “I cannot follow my heart because of that,” then you have become the trapped bird. Seek your soul’s answers to find your way out of the snare. No-one who truly loves you will want you to be anything other than free – as free as a bird.

So do not compare the trajectory of a human life to the trajectory of a bullet. There is no comparison and be thankful for that. The bullet is not complex. It does not have free will or the element of choice. It interacts with nothing but the weapon that fires it, the air it passes through unheeding and the solid mass that stops it. Your lives know no such boundaries.

Embrace the beautiful circling, arching, bending, swerving, swaying, twisting and turning trajectories of your lives. Stay connected to your soul, be aware of your true destination, even if only as that ‘gut feeling’ the soul conveys so well to the mind of its man. Be aware and be free.

Embrace the journey, little birds. Ride the thermals of life and look to the sun and the stars – the ever-fixed marks that guide you home.

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